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Developer St. Clair breaks ground on $50M Zafira hotel in Vieques

British investor and developer Keith St. Clair, along with project partners and government officials, broke ground on what will be the $50 million Zafira hotel and time share property in Vieques.

“Zafira, is a new beginning for Vieques, we want all tourists who come to Puerto Rico to know the wonders and the charm of Vieques,” said St. Clair.

“It is a true jewel that we want everyone to know. This is a project that demonstrates the commitment we have to the tourist and economic development of Puerto Rico,” he added.

The 118-room boutique hotel will feature an infinity pool, restaurant, spa, disco and suites and villas. St. Clair has partnered with Marcelino Álvarez and Manfred Markoff to build the property on the island municipality.

“We have a strong commitment to the development of Vieques and this is an additional step to continue that commitment,” said Markoff, Vice President of Advanced Construction Development.

“Our roots and families are from here and we want to show the world the beauties of Puerto Rico and especially of Vieques,” he said.

About half of the projected investment will be dedicated to the construction phase, which will generate some 180 direct jobs and more than 50 indirect jobs. Work will begin during the second quarter of this year and should take 24 months to complete. Once operational the Zafira resort will create 60 direct jobs, property owners said.

The inspiration for the design of this hotel was in the hands of architect Rene Jean. It is based on a harmonious relationship with nature, incorporating wooden elements in combination with warm colors that give a sense of openness and sensuality to spaces; all inspired by the heritage of being in one of the islands that were part of the Spanish Virgin Islands, owners said.

Zafira will be located facing the Caribbean Sea, in the Esperanza sector of Vieques, as this media outlet first reported in December 2018.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.


  1. Noemy Quinones February 22, 2019

    will the locals be hired for all positions, meaning upper management because then you are boosting Viegues.

    1. Jessica Larcy February 23, 2019


  2. Ari LaSol February 22, 2019

    Hope your time estimate added in the extra time it takes to get anything done in Vieques. This is especially true of a project that many people on the island disagree with .

  3. nancy L berman February 23, 2019

    You question regarding employment of locals was my first thought, too. Plus? Management’s commitment to sustainability. Energy sources like wind and ocean? Recycling? Desalination? Farm-to-table food? Approved non-polluting building materials? No off gases, etc…..

  4. Hilda Umpierre February 26, 2019

    Very concerned in the environmental conservation of our so natural virgin Isla nena. What are your proposed means of waste management and overall natural conservation ot this natural paradise.

  5. Yamil Marchessi February 26, 2019

    As a Puertorrican living in the main island, how is the commitment to the transportation not only for the guest but as well for the locals? And would the facility be accesable to all of us? And lastly is the commitment extended to the cleaning and maintenance of the local green areas around Vieques damaged by the U.S. NAVY bombing training?

  6. Joanne February 26, 2019

    I wish I could be more optimistic about this project and that it will truly help improve the quality of life of the people in Vieques, but we’ve all heard these promises before. They are turning Vieques into a playground for the rich pure and simple.

  7. Mary Ann Lucking February 27, 2019

    Just because Puerto Rico did away with meaningful public participation and environmental impact studies, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them. The only way to protect and conserve these virgins is to embrace sound management practices especially in the coastal zone.


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